Years of research shows evidence of connection between patients suffering from diabetes and gum disease. A recommended diet coupled with regular visits with your dentist, and a daily oral hygiene maintenance regimen are essential components for the dental health of the diabetic patient.
Diabetes is a disease of the immune system; keeping blood sugar controlled is key to maintaining overall health as well as oral health. Thickening of blood vessels is common among diabetics; this can limit the ability to carry needed oxygen and nourishment to the mouth as well as the ability to remove the wastes that contribute to gum and bone tissue infection and/or disease.
Gum Disease Prevention
Patients that are very careful with their diet keeping their blood sugar under control may not experience problems with gum disease. Everyone has bacteria living in their mouth. These bacteria thrive on the sugar we eat – this includes glucose, the sugar linked to diabetes.
In addition to diet, the diabetic patient must be vigilant in practicing excellent daily oral hygiene that includes brushing twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste; flossing every day to remove what the toothbrush missed; and making sure to see their dentist every six months (or as frequently as recommended) for cleaning and exam.
Smoking and tobacco use poses a health risk to all users; but for patients that are more susceptible to gum disease than normal, those risks increase exponentially.
Gum disease usually occurs in stages; gingivitis is the first stage where gum tissue may bleed; gums may appear red and swollen. Regular brushing and flossing; using a rinse with antibacterial agents; and visits with the dentist may reverse this early form of gum disease.
If allowed to progress, periodontitis can develop. This is an infection of the tissues that hold teeth in place. Plaque has formed beneath the gums; treatment to remove plaque (root planing and scaling) is required. Your dentist will scale teeth beneath the gum line and smooth away any damage that has occurred. Failure to see your dentist for this much needed treatment can result in tooth loss.
Since diabetics are at an increased risk of complications involving dental health, good daily oral hygiene habits coupled with dental check-ups every six months are needed. This, combined with good blood sugar control, is critical in preventing the onset of gum disease.
Call our caring team at Fresh Dental to schedule an appointment!